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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” June 2016

2016 June 2

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

We meet at the Unitarian Universalist Society Church located at 152 Pearl Street in Burlington, VT. We will be in the Sophia Fahs Community Room, a large room located in the basement. Click here for more information on directions/parking.

Program: Studio Support and Workshop Time

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingStudio Support and Workshop Time is two hours that you give yourself, in the company of fellow book- and paper-arts lovers, to learn, share and create in a supportive and encouraging environment.

The meeting will begin with some group time, both for sharing – something you’ve made, a great resource or tool you’ve found, a source of inspiration – and for asking questions or puzzling out challenges you may be having with a project or particular technique.

The remainder of the time will be devoted to creative work. Bring along a project or model from a previous meeting that you’d like to continue working on or develop further, or bring a piece of your own to simply continue working on in the company of others.

Not sure of what to bring? No worries! Every Studio Support and Workshop Time session will have suggestions, resources or materials for a project.

This session will offer the opportunity to continue exploring (or discover the pleasure of making) the Jacob’s Ladder books presented by Ann Joppe-Mercure in May. If you missed the last meeting and would like to try making one, or you’d like to make a companion to the one you made in May, you’ll need to bring:

  • A tool such as an X-Acto or scalpel capable of cutting mat board
  • Cutting mat
  • Metal ruler
  • See-Thru ruler for measuring
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape (or quick-dry white glue – glue sticks don’t work)
  • Pencil
  • Fun materials to design your pages

Bonus: Ann will be on hand with instruction sheets, guidance and moral support!

May Meeting Reflections

Ann Joppe-Mercure

Our program for May focused on the Jacob’s Ladder book structure. Ann Joppe-Mercure first gave us an overview of the unique, fun structure that flips back and forth, and then gave us inspiration through her own magical books.

Ann led us through the step-by-step to make our own model, and then encouraged us to fill in the blank pages. It was amazing to see the variety of directions that participants took with the same simple materials.

Thanks to all who participated, and special thanks to Ann for sharing with us. Let’s do it again!

You can view images from the meeting on the B.A.G. blog.

B.A.G. News

*** This summer, B.A.G. member Jill Abilock is teaching a series of five bookbinding workshops at the Bixby Memorial Free Library in Vergennes, VT. All workshops run from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

You’ll learn how to make five elegant book structures, each offering a variety of uses and exciting artistic possibilities. Each workshop focuses on a different technique and book structure. You can sign up for individual workshops or the whole series – all workshops cover basic skills.

Soft-Covered Books – The Pamphlet Stitch and Long Stitch
Saturday, June 11, 2016
This workshop will cover the basics of hand-sewn books. You will a make two books to take home: a beautiful, pamphlet-stitched journal with a wraparound tie, and a long-stitch journal or sketchbook that incorporates an optional beaded embellishment in the binding.

The Amazing Accordion
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Deceptively simple, the accordion fold can be used alone or in combination with other techniques to make a broad range of beautiful and innovative books. In addition to learning the secret to folding a perfect accordion, you will make a hard-covered accordion album – great for displaying art, poetry or photographs – as well as several models of compound books, such as dos-a-dos and flag books, that feature accordion spines with sewn or glued pages.

Hardcover Coptic Books
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Coptic-stitch bindings have endured through the centuries because, in addition to their strength and beauty, they are flexible enough to lie flat when open. You will make a traditional Coptic bound book with covers made from heavy book board and decorative paper.

Case-Bound (Hardcover) Books – Part I
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Although historically not the first structure to be called a book, the sturdiness, durability and attractive appearance of hardcover books have made them both ubiquitous and highly prized. In the first session of this two-part workshop, you will learn the basics of case binding by making and attaching a hardcover case to a single-signature textblock to create a thin, elegant hardcover book.

Case-Bound (Hardcover) Books – Part II
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Prerequisite: Case-Bound (Hardcover) Books Part I
The second session of this two-part workshop will be held at Six Loons Studio in Shelburne, VT. You will begin by making traditional multi-signature textblocks that are sewn onto tapes. After discussing methods of end-sheet and case construction, you will create a case for your textblock and assemble it into a beautiful, handmade hardcover book.

For more information and a registration form, please email Jill Abilock at

*** B.A.G.’s very own Ann Joppe-Mercure will be teaching The Art of the Book at Saint Michael’s College from July 5 – 15 (no class on 7/4).

Educators and students are invited to explore and create in this studio course addressing the art of the book. Participants will experiment with forms, structures, materials, and concepts as we investigate the limitless possibilities of the Book. By surveying the historical need to record and contain knowledge and by examining the work of contemporary book artist students will gain a foundation for their own creative expression of ideas and meaning. Students will make a working portfolio of paper treatments, book models and altered structures then create their own individual art books.

The class will be a working model of a 21st century collaborative community supporting the creative process through practice, constructive criticism, reflecting, and refining technique. The Common Core anchor standards of Craft and Structure and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas will be addressed.

No previous bookmaking or art experience required. Students who have previously taken GED 671 The Art of Bookmaking and/or GED 673 Science, Art and Bookmaking: Making Connections, are welcome in this class. A $50.00 materials fee is required and due at registration.

For more information, please visit St. Mike’s website.

Book Arts News

UNBOUND logo*** ArtisTree Gallery, in partnership with Pentangle Arts, is looking for submissions for their 6th annual juried exhibit, UNBOUND: VOL VI. The theme of the show is simple – an exploration of what a book can be…art using books as a material or a format.

The exhibit will open in tandem with the Bookstock Literary Festival in Woodstock, VT.

This call for submissions is open to all New England and New York residents of the U.S. who are 18 years of age or older. All artwork must be original in concept, design and execution. Note: Reproductions, if used as mixed media, will be considered.

The deadline for submission is July 2, 2016. For more information, please visit the ArtisTree Gallery’s website.

*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers will be holding their second New England Chapter Mini-Conference in northern Maine from August 26-28, 2016. Spend a weekend with a community of local artists working in the field of bookbinding, book arts, paper making and calligraphy.

The event includes two 1-day workshops, evening lectures, a mix and mingle event and material swap. Registration is open to both members and non-members of the Guild of Book Workers and covers both workshops and all meals.

For more information or to register, please visit the GBW website. You can also feel free to contact Erin Fletcher at

Vessel exhibition logo

*** The Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection is hosting the Guild of Book Workers‘ juried traveling exhibition, Vessel, now through June 17, 2016.

The book as vessel inspires beautiful metaphor – a craft for traveling, a container, a holder, a receiver, a transporter. Across time and culture, the vessel is at the center of many ceremonies and rites of passage. Native American cultures regarded the vessel as a portal to a sacred realm. The book as craft is our vessel to sail the high seas, to hold our dearest memories, and to indicate the pulse of life. Guild of Book Workers members contributed works to interpret “vessel” as broadly or as narrowly as they wished.

The exhibition features approximately 50 works by GBW members. Selected works include fine and edition bindings, artist’s books, broadsides, and historical binding models.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit the GBW website.

*** The Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA is hosting the exhibit Paper and Blade: Modern Paper Cutting, now through July 31, 2016. The exhibit celebrates the pioneering spirit of artists working in cut paper.

Exhibiting artists were selected for their passion for this humble material, their masterful techniques, and their innovative approaches to working in this media, and together they will present a collective vision of the future of paper craft. Participants includes Beatrice Coron, Maude White, Randal Thurston, Nikki McClure, Elizabeth Alexander, Bovey Lee, and Charles Clary.

For more information, please visit the Fuller Craft Museum’s website.

*** In collaboration with The Ticknor Society, The Movable Book Society is holding its biennial conference in Boston on September 15 – 17, 2016. The Movable Book Society was organized in 1993 to provide a forum for collectors, artists, curators, book sellers, book producers, and others to share enthusiasm and exchange information about pop-up and movable books.

This year’s speakers include Matthew Reinhart, Shawn Sheehy, Laura Davidson, and Emily Martin. The conference also features hands-on activities, presentations, a silent auction, and a book sale.

For more information, please download the conference program or contact The Movable Book Society at

Book Arts Classes

Books*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, in collaboration with the Dartmouth College Library Preservation Services, is presenting Bookbinding According to Diderot with Abigail Bainbridge. The workshop will take place on July 15-16, 2016 at the Dartmouth College Library in Hanover, NH.

Mid- to late-18th century France is marked by the appearance of descriptions of the art of bookbinding, giving for the first-time a thorough (if not always specific or accurate) description of the previously guarded trade secret. The style of the time was so prescriptive that the average binding is recognizable immediately: full brown calf, often sprinkled or with tree marbling, raised bands, panels tooled in gilt with centerpieces, corners, and stars, solid red or perhaps marbled blue edges, single core front bead endbands, French curl endpapers. Features less visible are the particular lacing patterns, parchment spine linings, and edges cut in boards.

In this busy two day workshop we will bind a text of a manual describing this 18th century style using the techniques set forth, thus replicating this distinguished style. Participants will get an in depth look at the contemporary sources and the bindings themselves, and come away with a thorough understanding of this notable binding style in the context of its time.

* Prior bookbinding experience required.

For more information or to register, please visit the GBW website. You can also contact with any questions.

*** The Women’s Studio Workshop is offering The Medium as Message: An Adventure in Low Tech with Caroline Walp from July 11 – 15, 2016. The workshop will take place in Kingston, NY.

You will begin this workshop by learning letterpress basics, including setting type, mixing ink, and various ways of generating images by different means. You’ll also learn basic bookbinding techniques to make accordion or single signature artists’ books and/or zines.

In this immersive, multi-media class, students will learn the simplest and most direct ways of generating text and image as a multiples, using a table top letterpress, hand printing, lino cuts, hand stamping, rubber stamping, and other alternative printing processes. The emphasis will be on effectively transmitting your message into a publishable format.

For more information or to register, please visit the Women’s Studio Workshop website.

*** On June 25- 26, 2016, the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is excited to present Making Simple Finishing Tools with Jeffrey Altepeter.

For traditional design nothing really beats a collection of decorative finishing tools. But making your own tools can offer more immediate control in the design process, the ability to modify as you work, and the ability to do more unique work. Making tools is also gratifying and fun.

This workshop will offer an introduction to the materials, tools and techniques of making your own brass finishing tools for bookbinding. A combination of demonstration, discussion and hands-on practice will prepare students for continued experimentation and more advanced future projects.

The workshop will be held at Third Year Studio in Boston, MA. For more information or to register, please visit the GBW website.

*** Maine Media Workshops + College is offering The Art of Bookmaking with Eliot Dudik on June 26 – July 2. The college is located in Rockport, Maine.

The photobook, as a means of presenting an artist’s vision, has never been as popular as it is today. In this workshop, you will discuss and practice techniques in bookbinding and hardcover casing, as well as editing, sequencing, and layout design for personal handmade art books. Learn how to showcase and present your photographs in an artistic and professional manner, and have fun while you’re doing it!

Students will work with Adobe software for layout design, digital printmaking, and hand tools to create unique handmade art books. Depending on the needs of the individual student, you will be working with Coptic stitch or Saddle stitch bindings and hard cover casings.

For more information or to register, please visit the Maine Media Workshops + College’s website.

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